We’re finally getting into the heart of why Donald Trump’s campaign chairman Paul Manafort was so eager to join the campaign that he offered to work for free – and thus why Trump was willing to take him up on such a strange arrangement. Manafort was reportedly as much as sixty million dollars in debt to a Kremlin-connected oligarch at the time, and he was trying to use his position with the campaign to get his debt forgiven. But it may be much, much uglier than that.
Even with as much of a narcissist and cheapskate as Donald Trump is, he had to have known there was something off about Manafort eagerly reaching out to him and offering to run his campaign for free – when it was a role that should have earned Manafort a huge paycheck. No one turns down that kind of money unless there’s an ulterior motive involved, and even Trump wouldn’t have been delusional to have believed that Manafort was simply trying to stick it to Hillary Clinton for personal reasons. In other words, Trump knew Manafort was taking the gig because he was a Russian puppet – which confirms everything we’ve always suspected – and more – about Trump’s own motivation.
Here’s how MSNBC analyst Matthew Miller summed it up: “Whatever actually went on between Paul Manafort and [Russian oligarch] Oleg Deripaska, I guarantee it is much worse than anyone has imagined.” (link). It’s becoming progressively easier to figure out why. If Manafort was using the Trump campaign to get his $60 million Russian debt wiped clean, and Trump knew about it, then it means that A) Trump was every bit as financially in debt to the Russians as we’ve always suspected, and B) Trump was also using his campaign to try to wipe out his Russian debt.
That makes Donald Trump a full blown traitor. He conspired with a foreign enemy to rig an election so he could seize the presidency. Part of that conspiracy involved Russian election-related hacking, which can be defined as an act of cyberwar. That makes this literally treason. Not only is Trump going to prison, Paul Manafort could end up with the death penalty.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report